Seton Hill recruit Orr leads McGuffey past Southmoreland

Monday, April 19, 2021 | 8:40 PM

McGuffey broke into the TribHSSN Class 3A baseball rankings Sunday at No. 5.

And with the way the Highlanders played Monday, they’d like to continue ascending the ladder.

McGuffey pounded out 12 hits and was issued 14 free bases (11 walks, three hit batters) and defeated Southmoreland, 15-2, in five innings of a Section 4 battle for first-place.

Winning pitcher Jake Orr, a Seton Hill signee, helped his own cause with 5 RBIs and two home runs. He pitched four innings, allowed two runs with three hits, a walk and seven strikeouts.

“The guys are hitting the ball real well,” Orr said. “It’s nice to have them behind me. I had good command, and I like to assert my fastball. When it’s working, I’m usually on. My fastball was working, and I was hitting my spots.”

Austin Beattie had 4 RBIs and a double for the Highlanders.

Southmoreland (5-3, 3-2), which opened section play with a sweep of Waynesburg and a win against Brownsville, just couldn’t stay with McGuffey (7-1, 5-0).

Starting pitcher Anthony Govern struggled with his control, walking six and hit a batter over three innings. He allowed two bases-loaded walks and an RBI sacrifice fly to Orr.

“Giving that many free bases can’t happen against a good team like that,” Southmoreland coach Al Govern said. “If we want to be at the top of the section, we have to fix those things.”

Anthony Govern worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning but allowed two runs in the second inning and a single run in the third.

Meanwhile, Orr retired the first nine batters he faced and strung together five consecutive strikeouts.

“I was seeing the ball well, and I got two fastballs right on my knees,” Orr said about his home runs. “I hit what I’ve been working on. On the mound in the fourth inning, I lost a little focus.”

In the fourth inning, freshman Kaiden Keefer replaced Govern and was greeted by a long home run by Orr. The Highlanders banged out seven hits in the inning and scored eight runs to grab an 11-0 lead. Orr added a two-run homer later in the inning.

“Hitting is something we work on, and the players have a lot of talent,” McGuffey coach George Linck said. “They work hard and some play year-round. They’ve a great group to work with.

“Jake has a strong bat. We’re working on hitting the ball solid. We preach square it up and cut it in half and good things will happen. Slowly, but surely, we’re doing hopefully the things we need to do to win section games.”

Southmoreland scored two runs on three hits of Orr in the fourth inning. Anthony Govern walked and scored on an RBI double by Ben Zimmerman. Mason Basinger’s double scored Brok Potoka for the second run.

McGuffey added four run in the top of the fifth inning to implement the 10-run rule to end the game after five innings.

The two teams play the second game of the series 7 p.m. Tuesday at Wild Things Park in Washington.

Al Govern hopes his team has a short memory.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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